Local Area Network (LAN) Call of Duty League
Among the announcements, a LAN league became quickly the most favorite. For those unfamiliar, the CWL, and MLG in previous years, hosted an online league in which teams would compete among one another to earn themselves a spot in a LAN event in which, normally, eight of the twelve teams that were leading in the leaderboards in term of their win/loss ratio were granted admission.
This LAN event had prize pools upwards of $100,000, thus were high stakes in competition level. Problems ensued as many made the argument that an online league creates inconsistencies among match ups because there were clear advantages depending on the host of the match. Teams geographically located in favorable positions, like the Midwest, tended to be more successful than those who were located on the East or West Coast due to latency inconsistencies in connection.
A LAN league eliminates this and produces the highest level obtainable in a competitive environment. While details were fairly light, rumors have circulated the idea of the league being in Ohio, a popular destination for MLG events. The logistics of the LAN league have not been laid out, but nonetheless, the community is very optimistic.
Pro Points are finally returning to competitive Call of Duty as announced by Williams, which came as a shock to most. What is a “Pro Point”, you may ask? These are a way of keeping record of progress players have in their competitive careers. For example, if you win an online tournament, you are awarded with a certain amount of Pro Points that slowly collect.
They are used for one main purpose, seeding. If your team has a total of the most Pro Points in a tournament, whether that be online or on LAN, you are given the first seed, meaning you have an easier bracket run to the finals than those of lower seeds. Pro Points were used in Advanced Warfare but were cut off in Black Ops III with the adoption of the CWL branding, essentially voiding the system in its entirety.
The return of this system creates a more competitive environment as people now can participate in earning Pro Points in a more active role. They are earned through the GameBattles platform, in which you can play online tournaments with a designated amount of Pro Points per victory. Other ways to earn points include online wager challenges against random challenger teams. One last way is through the free game ladders MLG provides. Those at the top of the ladder will receive Pro Points and will receive qualification for tournaments hosted by the CWL. With graduation in the mix, the community is in for an exciting year.
LAN Events for 2017
One major complaint for the Black Ops III competitive season was the fact that there weren’t enough major events for teams to attend. Notably speaking, the only major events from the year 2016 were Season One finals, Season Two finals, and Call of Duty Champs. Three major events throughout the entire year was underwhelming to many, therefore the CWL took a more progressive approach to the events laid out for the year, as well as the prize pool.
In the 2017 season, CWL will be providing over a four million dollar prize pool that is spread across multiple events. This money will cover the prize pools for all regions in the CWL, meaning North America, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand will share the money between LAN events. One major event that’s coming up is in North America is the MLG Atlanta 200K, with a two hundred thousand dollar prize pool, one of the largest the community has had, apart from CoD Champs.
On the note of CoD Champs, in 2017, CoD Champs will consist of 32 teams from across the world in a double elimination style format, similar to last year. With the four million in funding given by Activision, there should be a larger prize pool than last year, but nothing as of now has been officially confirmed. Other events include the CWL season finals which haven’t been officially announced but are presumed due to last year’s season finals provided by the CWL. The prize pool is usually one hundred thousand for each final, however, the prize breakdown has yet to be released.
One last note on the announcements made at PSX were the minor rule changes made to the rule set. The Payloads specialist abilities have been modified. Now when interacting with objects, like a bomb or Uplink drone, your Payload ability drains faster.
Other modifications include bomb site and Uplink portal location changes. Sites and portals are in now more competitive places on the map which balances both sides of the map. The Rig draft has now been limited to 30 seconds with intentions of starting matches faster.
For those who played competitively in Black Ops III, they will remember the painstakingly boring period of drafting/banning weapons which took upwards of four minutes on the start of the game. Now, the Rig draft is functioning as optimal as possible.
Clearly, the road for competitive Call of Duty looks bright. With this much developer support, CoD is finally getting recognition as a respected eSport similar to CS:GO, League of Legends, etc. This year in competitive Call of Duty is sure to be quite positive with an active role from those outside the community.
See you next time, good luck!